SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Mike Griffith, sports reporter for the Bakersfield Californian, has been selected as the recipient of the James H. Ellery Memorial Award for the 2018-19 season.
The James H. Ellery Memorial Award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding media coverage of the American Hockey League. It was first presented in 1964-65 and honors the late Jim Ellery, who served the AHL for 17 years as league secretary and publicity director until his death in 1964.
Griffith, who retired from full-time work last month after 42 years at the Californian, has gone above and beyond to deliver extensive coverage of professional hockey in Bakersfield since 1995, including the Condors’ four seasons in the American Hockey League as the home of the Edmonton Oilers’ top prospects. Along with regular game summaries and practice reports, Griffith’s frequent in-depth feature stories, supplemented with video and photo content, have provided his readers with a chance to learn more about the organization and its players and coaches.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.